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2019-12-13 short info

Modern machine learning technologies provide an overview in the jungle of terms in standardization

VDE|DKE and the TU Braunschweig have developed a gold standard with Harbsafe-162 which serves to evaluate automated procedures for determining the similarity of texts. Furthermore, with the terminology harmonization dashboard, standardization experts have access to an assistance solution that will largely automate the term comparison process.

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Holger Lange
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Terms and conceptual correlations are the core of standardization work

Digitalization is making huge strides and yet, this development is still in its infancy. Cybersecurity and IT security are becoming increasingly important and must be coordinated with other sectors. This results in, among other things, a stronger convergence with functional safety.

However, the manual integration of various terminology worlds is difficult: Duplications, inconsistencies and contradictory definitions result from distributed responsibilities and a rapidly increasing number of publications. Recognizing this is a challenging task. In common standardization practice, this means

  • combing through countless lists,
  • comparing a wide variety of definitions and
  • tediously building a conceptual system.

Terminology harmonization dashboard supports standardization experts

In the Harbsafe Project, a cooperation between VDE|DKE and the TU Braunschweig, solutions are developed which, with the help of linguistic data processing, groups terms that have to be reconciled and correlated in a sensible context. This is an important task, in particular, in technical standardization in order to ensure harmonized, standardized terminology. The standardization experts are supported by the specially developed terminology harmonization dashboard which is intended to largely automate the comparison process.

Initially, the focus was on the terminologies within the standards for the functional security, cybersecurity and reliability of critical infrastructure. The terminology harmonization dashboard processes the terms semantically to deliver a degree of similarity of the term definitions. Similar terms are grouped and displayed under different groups on the dashboard. This way, standardization experts can identify which terms require harmonization.

The basis is the Harbsafe-162 gold standard: A half dozen standardization experts evaluated the similarity of 162 pairs of terms from technical standards. The term entries are from standards and drafts of standards from the fields of functional security, IT security and technical reliability; domains that will converge more and more in the future due to digitalization.



Harbsafe 2 to further expand existing scopes of terms

The Harbsafe project has since been completed, however, a continuation as “Harbsafe 2” has already been planned. “Harbsafe 2” will primarily focus on expanding the scopes of the terms. The objective is to create a comprehensive tool for intelligently browsing the VDE|DKE terminology lexicon. Ideally, it will provide the essentials at a glance:

  • all formulations of a term
  • all terms for a designation
  • the most important, explicit and implicit references

Thoroughness is necessary, however, it takes a lot of time and it is very easy to overlook something. In the future, modern technology will make it possible to get more complete results faster.

Editor’s note:

The “Harbsafe” project is funded by the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)) (funding code: 03TNG006A and 03TNG006B).